Spurs Youth 2018/19

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The Fighting Cock
Get ready for the best Spurs Youth Thread on the internet (I've been banned from Spurs Community :dembelefingers:)...

Previous thread: U-18/U-21/Loans/Development Squad (2011-2018)

This thread will follow the U23s, U18s and other Spurs youth teams in the various competitions and tournaments throughout the season – including the U18 Premier League, Premier League 2 (U23), UEFA Youth League (U19) and the Checkatrade Trophy (we've entered an U21 team). If you have any information about any age group, including U16s and below that you feel is worthy of sharing then please post.

Some information courtesy of my man Carl from The Youth Pods we did on TFC...

Development Squad
Alfie Whiteman, Brandon Austin, Thomas Glover, Charlie Freeman, Jonathan De Bie

Connor Ogilvie (LB/CB), (CB), Japhet Tanganga (CB), Jaden Brown (LB/CB), Tariq Hinds (RB/LB), Timothy Joel Eyoma (CB/RB), Jonathan Toko Lema Dinzeyi (CB), Jamie Reynolds (CM/LWB),

Anthony Georgiou (LW/LB), Luke Amos (DM), Dylan Duncan (CM), George Marsh (DM/CB), Jack Roles (CM/CAM), Tashan Oakley-Boothe (CM/AM)

Shayon Harrison (S), Marcus Edwards (CAM/RW), Kazaiah Sterling (S), Sam Shashoua (W/AM), , Shilow Tracey (AM/W/S)

Academy Year 2


Joshua Oluwayemi

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster (CB/RB/LB), Maxwell Statham (CB), Jubril Okedina (CB)

Phoenix Patterson (CM/AM), Paris Maghoma (CM/AM), Oliver Skipp (CM/DM), Jamie Bowden (CM/DM), Armando Shashoua (AM), Maximus Tainio (DM), Dilan Markanday (AM/W)

Rodel Richards Jr (S), Jeremie Mukendi (S/RW), Elliot Thorpe (S/W/AM), Rayan Clarke (AM/W), Maurizio Pochettino (W)

Academy Year 1

Kacper Kurylowicz

Malachi Walcott (CB), Luis Binks (CB), Dennis Cirkin (LB)

Harvey White (CM), Rafferty Pedder (CM/AM), Chay Cooper (AM),

Enoch Asante (S), Troy Parrott (S/FW), J'Neill Bennett (W)
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Chris Ramsey is a busy man.

"I do three sessions a day probably," he tells football.london. "I work with the under-23s in the morning or the 18s, then in the afternoon I’ll work with one of them if they do a double session. Then I work with the different age groups in the evenings - last night I worked with the 9s, day before it was the 12s.
"Got to do it, haven’t you? Got to help people fulfil their dreams."

Even so, you get the feeling that if time wasn’t an issue, QPR’s head of coaching and technical director could talk about football - and more specifically youth coaching - until his voice ran out. And he’s got plenty to talk about too.

When Ramsey arrived at the club in 2014, his remit was to help fix one of the club’s biggest problems. It was a source of no little embarrassment that the club hadn't produced a homegrown first-team regular since Richard Langley came through nearly 20 years earlier.


Chris Ramsey issues instructions during a pre-season friendly match between Queens Park Rangers and Dundee United. (Image: David Rogers/Getty Images)

After a short interlude when Harry Redknapp resigned and Ramsey’s project was interrupted by a call to manage the first-team, he got to work on trying to replicate some of the results he achieved in a similar role at Tottenham.

There, Ramsey helped to implement (and he’s careful not to take all the credit for it) a programme that would eventually produce Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Andros Townsend, Ryan Mason and a host of others.

"I've taken the same philosophy but the different dilemma we have at QPR is that we need more rapid success. To get a Harry Winks, it takes 12 years, approximately. We had time then: now we have no time."

That time pressure is broadly governed by the grim practicalities of running a club outside the Premier League elite; partly because of past excesses, QPR must try to use the players they produce out of necessity, rather than some sort of warm-hearted, sentimental indulgence.

"We’re in a financial situation where we can’t go and spend millions on players," Ramsey says. "I'm not saying play all the kids and lose every game, but clubs need to look at the effect of playing a young kid or the guy on £20,000-a-week. If there’s a minimal difference, you've got to save yourself £20,000."

So what’s the best way to bring through quality players? Ramsey thinks one of the key aspects is to minimise the importance of winning games and trophies in youth football. "It depends what you consider winning is. Winning to me is firstly about the individual and performance, and then winning games. Not the other way around.

"Winning the Youth Cup is one thing. But the only thing people are looking at is the end product. The board will say 'You've been here X years, how many players have made the first-team?'

"And you can say: 'X players have made their debuts, and four or five are in and around the squad, which is saving fortunes.' They're more happy with that then winning the youth leagues.

"We've got to get away from this idea of 'We've got to give them a winning mentality.' Because you've either got that or you haven’t. And it depends what that winning mentality is. Is it running around smashing people, or is it knowing your job?"

Not placing an emphasis on winning games presents its own problems, not least dealing with pushy parents who want Little Johnny to win every week, and indeed the potentially demoralising impact on Johnny himself.

"I want to win," he says. "Course I want to win. I don’t watch my team get murdered, but winning at youth football is for the coach. Performance is for the kids.

"The team Harry Winks was in at Tottenham never used to win. They'd get beat 16-0. But if you get a good [senior] player out of that team, who cares what the under-9s did in 2007? If you want to win every week, go to Sunday league football, or the first-team. We’re there to produce individual players."

And should anyone question Ramsey's methods, he has some receipts to offer.

"I'm not saying it’s all down to me," he says, name checking John McDermott, Alex Inglethorpe (now Academy director at Liverpool), Richard Allen, Perry Suckling, Bradley Allen, Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood as fellow architects and implementers of the plan at Tottenham.

"If it works with one player, you can say 'He’s good, he was going to make it anyway.' But the players that have come from Tottenham were ridiculous: Harry Winks, Andros Townsend, Ryan Mason, Jake Livermore, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton.


Harry Winks and Harry Kane have risen from academy products to Champions League stars for Spurs. (Image: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

"Then you look at Kyle Walker-Peters, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Marcus Edwards. And that’s not even mentioning Nabil Bentaleb, Massimo Luongo, Adam Smith, Jon Obika, Yuri Berchiche, who's at PSG.

"If you go down the leagues, there's Shaq Coulthirst at Barnet, Callum Butcher at Millwall last year. There are loads and loads and loads of players who came through at Spurs."

Either because Ramsey thinks the name is so obvious it doesn't need to be mentioned, or because he's wary of a sneaky journalist looking for a headline, he doesn't even mention Harry Kane in that list. But his name does come up later.

"Alex Inglethorpe always used to say: 'Did you look at the silver medallists?' If you're a gold medallist at 10, where have you got to go? Where is your development coming from?

"You have to look at the people always striving to improve: someone like Harry Kane, always striving to be better than everybody, technically. That type of drive to be brilliant as an individual will lead to good teams."

The main task for clubs like QPR is not quite to school these young players to be technically perfect, but to do whatever they can to make them as ready as possible for the first-team.

"It’s important that the players are versatile. We’ve had five managers in [just over] three years. If you can’t adapt to different managers, and different styles of manager you’re not going to play.

"What we do is work on the ‘growth skills’ that every club needs, whether it be Shrewsbury or Barcelona, and work on the strengths of the player that might attract him to any manager."

The early signs are that it’s working at QPR. Seven academy products made their first-team debuts in the last two seasons, a few before that too. Forward Aramide Oteh scored on his first start recently.

Even with their accelerated time line it’s probably too early to entirely see the fruits of Ramsey’s labour in the Championship, but at the very least it looks promising.

"Last season the youth team came bottom of the league, but we sold Josh Bowler to Everton for £1.3million," Ramsey says. "I think the owners are happier with that than if we won Southern South Eastern Alliance league, or whatever it is.

"I understand that when you get to the first-team, it flips: win at all costs. In youth football, it should always be about the performance."

How QPR are tapping into the secrets of the Spurs academy

Guido 🇺🇦

"Legacy Fan"
Who’s the best academy player that’s never made it that you’ve all seen for spurs?
Good question.

I played for our U15's through to U18's. (At least I think it was that age group but can't be 100% certain, it was also very sporadic in terms of game time etc. and I couldn't give a shit about playing for Spurs then, nothing to do with supporting them just that the football experience was shite. Also the answer to why I don't know exactly the age groups is a tad complicated on my side and Spurs side but can be simplified as purely not really engaging with the youth set-up at all, IMO it was shit, poorly run and organised with little in the way of training and development). Anyway, for reference and time frame, I was in the group that had Steve Sedgley, Paul Moran and David Howels, so approx 1983-1986(??). All of us and a bunch of others all played for our respective school sides (most in the Enfield Borough) and then the County. At this age we were also playing for a Saturday or Sunday league side too, so basically we would be playing with each other or against each other several times a month. This group was also extended by the Woolwich academy intake as well, you were either Woolwich or Tottenham.

Anyway there was this kid called Kyriakides (christ I hope I have his name right, it's all some time ago). My word, he was the greatest footballer I have ever seen! YES, I mean this. We are talking Messi levels of brilliance. When playing for his school or Saturday/Sunday league football (he was in several of the Saturday/Sunday league teams as me and the others) all you had to do was give him the ball and he will dribble around the entire oppo side and score. He played (actually kicked a ball) for Spurs about as much as me, infuriatingly not that often, but when he did, he would dribble around the entire oppo team too, so even against a higher calibre of player he could do it. He was the standout player in the Borough team but to my knowledge I don't recall him playing for the County. As a Woolwich supporter and combined with the shit show at Spurs academy, he ended up at Woolwich.

The main reason I name drop the above players is because I am fairly certain if you ask this question to them they will mention his name. Anyone that played football in this era and played at a reasonable level (best player at their school, involved with Tottenham or Woolwich academy, played Borough or County level) will mention his name. I'm still mates with a couple of pals from back then and after a couple of beers reminiscing about our youth, as sure as eggs are eggs, he will come up in conversation.

He had one major flaw though, he got into beer, fags and girls and enjoying the nights out (as we all did but he was on another level, he was off his head). He was never there for the start of any game, always turning up about half time. As he got older this just got worse and worse. Absolutely no one knows (in my circle) what happened to him but easily the biggest waste of talent I have ever seen. I could probably list another 7 or 8 players from that era who were all far superior players to those that made it (Howells, Moran and Sedgely for Spurs and Campbell & Rocastle for Woolwich). Moran was so, so shit (shit for his school, Albany) I don't know where to start but unlike almost all of us he had his heart set on being a footballer and fair play to him because that's exactly what he achieved.


The Fighting Cock
It’s a bit weird that Mukede, Griffiths and Bennetts (or even Edwards) our talked about promising youngsters feel the need to move to the German , French and Dutch leagues becuase they feel they have a better chance of making it into the first team in a few years.
What does that say about us, as a club, or the PL in general.

Do these kids honestly feel they have no chance of breaking through at our club, are they as good as we thought, or are they just impatient?

Meanwhile we are buying young foreign talent.
All of the above are probably legitimate reasons, depending on the player.

But PL clubs' perception of the 'risk' of playing youngsters really needs to change IMO. Would Onomah have done any worse than Sissoko in his first few weeks? Would Edwards (or whoever) have done any worse than Nkoudou? KWP any worse than Aurier? That's £67m+ we spent on players when we had youngsters who were A) free and B) would now have developed to a point where we could usefully use them or sell on for big profit if they were not going to make it with us.
Full time: 1-1.

Heroic defending from us this evening - brilliant considering we've been down to 10 since the 3rd minute.

I've mentioned Troy Parrott a few times already, but he's a special talent. Didn't look out of place at all.

Don't want to overhype from one performance, but he's shown great signs this evening. 16 years old and played that role with great maturity. His decision making on and off the ball are beyond his years.
One of the btl comments from the article. Nice to know think that we do things the right way, and that it's the exception rather than the rule of other clubs:

I have 14 and 10 year old sons who are both at London academies, although not Spurs. My 14 year old was at Spurs but released a couple of years ago and the one thing that sticks out about how they do things compared to other clubs that I’m familiar with is the brilliant pastoral care. His coach spoke to me first when he was being released, then to my lad with me there. He was upset but the reasons were clearly explained to him and about a week later I got a message to ask how he was; two weeks after that he got a trial at another club that came via one of the Spurs staff. What I’ve described is typical at Tottenham and not the norm at all.
For all the talk about trusting Skipp, I think today proves that he doesn't just yet.

If he wasn't going to start, which I'd have liked, I'd much rather seen him come on than Dier. He's more tenaciously dynamic but also more likely to play an incisive pass.

Even more worrying is KWP not even on the bench. he should have been starting this game. I don't mind Trippier, but even I think he's not exactly going through a purple patch right now and KWP might have given us something extra, he can move with the ball as well.

It's a travesty that KWP hasn't been given more starts over this busy phase, he keeps proving he's good enough, and his potential ceiling is higher than both Trippier and Aurier.
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The Fighting Cock

If you go through that team from last night you can see part of the reason why our post-U18 development is such a mess.

Austin - needs a loan.
Hinds - fine, I get this one.
Cirkin - fine, first few appearances for the U23s, but is only there *now* due to poor future-planning and probably isn't quite ready.
Marsh - surprised he's still at the club. Even more surprised he's had first team exposure.
Tanganga - desperately needs a loan.
Eyoma - should be on loan too if we really have faith in bringing him through.
Maghoma - fine.
Oakley-Boothe - fine, I guess. I've never been a fan but I know plenty who are.
Tracey - insane that he's with us still.
Roles - desperately needs a loan; probably going to leave at the end of the season.
Bennett - fine, making first few appearances for the U23s.

So we're looking at a mish-mash of players made up of those who have probably totally lost motivation at this level as they are getting nowhere fast and need football league experience, plus some who should have been moved on a while ago.

Some of those who did get loans only got them because (apparently) they arranged them themselves.

I'd be fully up for us withdrawing from the PL2 at this point. Send the key Dev Squad players out on loan (well researched, well selected loans), and arrange regular friendlies if need be for anyone left over.

Or if we don't withdraw from the PL2 actually use first team squad players in amongst the younger players to give them all a better experience and importantly give the likes of KWP, Skipp, Janssen, Nkoudou, etc) games.

Imagine how much Bennett, Cirkin, Hinds, Maghoma would benefit from playing with actual footballers rather than the likes of Tracey and Marsh (sorry to be cruel by picking them out).
You mention the ageing squad. There are a number of players who are on the wrong side of their peak years (ages as at next Summer window):

Dembele: 32; an obvious one who needs replacing, rumoured to be allowed to go to China on a free when contract up;

Toby: 30; where to start? Would have been a Utd player by now if Woodward hadn't refused the deal that all other parties had agreed;

Jan: 32;

(Sissoko: 30; Llorente: 34; not starters, squad players, but their real value will be decreasing)

2 years ago when Winks broke through it looked very different, possibly the youngest average age in the PL. Sanchez was bought for the future. Foyth too. Sanchez has started way more games than forecast due to Toby's injury last season. Best in a back 3 imo with experience of Jan and Toby alongside.

Leaving aside whether those players you've mentioned get the opportunity, do you think they have a reasonable chance of making it with Spurs? Which presumably is the question that Levy asks quite a bit, seeing as it could save the club a fortune at a time when we're spending one on the stadium. And the Academy was his baby too.

Kyle Walker-Peters is 21 and has started just two league games. For the sake of his own career he has to look for a loan in January and probably move on next summer. Leaving aside the debate of Trippier vs Aurier, one is an England international and the other cost £25m so the youngster is very much at the back of the queue. Poch isn't going to banish the England player but he also has to justify his costly signing.

Onomah - I had high hopes for him. I saw him and Winks in the academy and while I liked Winks from then, it was Onomah who caught my eye as I felt he had more in his repertoire. He played with swagger and belief that he never showed in his appearances for the first team. Admittingly there were mitigating circumstances - namely he played on the wing and mainly sub cameos. When we were flying in 2016/17 winning games at home by 2/3/4 goals with half an hour ago Poch integrated Winks but not Onomah which I think was a massive shame. I don't think he will make it with us now.

Edwards is still a teenager and maybe the penny will drop in Holland. In his case his attitude was questioned at Norwich and he lost his place in his England age group line-up. However too much hype came upon him - none more so from our own manager and he's an example at how dangerous social media attention on a youth footballer can be.

Carter-Vickers is in the same boat as Onomah really. The other two I didn't hold much expectation from. Amos did really well at Stevanage by all accounts and it's a shame about his injury but I never really got what his position was. He was moved about a bit and found a good fit in the Dele Alli role but he's very much a poor man's Dele Alli. As for Sterling, he was good coming through the ranks initially but I think he'll be left behind by younger players. He works very hard, plays off the shoulder of defenders, is a bustler but he just lacks a bit of spark that Griffiths was showing or Parrot has.
Troy Parrott‏ @troyparrott9
Birthday boy
the best gift I could of asked for, delighted to sign my first professional contract with @SpursOfficial , proud moment for me and my family


17th Birthday present.

Only question - why isn't Poch there with an arm round him ? But delighted Parrott has signed until 2021 (I think the maximum length he can sign at that age ?). Looking forward to his 18th birthday celebration contract !
Troy Parrot.....I've said it before and I'l say it again, a star in the making. Brilliant free kick but the second was just as superb because of awareness, calmness, and precision finish.

What an effort from Jack Roles too. The speed of thought and execution so impressive

I do hope both have long and great careers at Spurs
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